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Ultrasound Tech Certification Careers

By Aimee Hosler,

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects this occupation to grow in the decade preceding 2018, much faster than growth for U.S. employment as a whole. However, these projections cannot guarantee demand. The New York Times reports that Americans battling financial distress are putting off health care, a trend that might reduce demand for ultrasound technicians overall. According to the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography and the BLS, ultrasound technician certification and credentialing may be vital to finding work.

How may an Ultrasound tech certification help?

According to the CNN Money website, some experts feel the country is facing a skills gap as much as a job crisis. Rather than investing in on-the-job training programs for entry-level workers, employers may prefer to hire candidates who can hit the ground running. This is a particularly important note for ultrasound technicians who have variable education requirements nationally: A 2010 survey conducted by the American Registry of Radiologic Technicians revealed that nine out of ten hospital administrators prefer to hire certified techs.

Meanwhile, the CARE bill, which looks to standardize radiology and ultrasound technician requirements, is making its way through Congress. The American Society of Radiologic Technologists notes that the full name of the bill is "Consistency, Accuracy, Responsibility and Excellence in Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy." The bill seeks to provide quality assurance for patients undergoing all types of radiologic procedures, like those those who receive mammograms under the provisions of the Mammography Quality Standards Act. While the CARE Bill would not mandate certification, those who are certified might meet the new minimum training requirements through the course of certification.

Pursuing a certification may improve the bottom line as much as one's job outlook. According to BLS 2010 a diagnostic medical sonographers, earned a mean annual wage of $64,900 nationwide.

Common ultrasound technician certifications

The BLS reports that there are various paths to ultrasound technician certification, and most programs might require candidates to meet certain training requirements and pass an exam. The ARDMS remains one of the most popular certification providers, awarding successful candidates the Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer designation. ARDMS certification hopefuls may specialize in a number of areas, including abdomen, breast, nervous system, cardiac and vascular sonography. The ARRT also offers credentials in breast and vascular sonography, and Cardiovascular Credentialing International issues credentials for cardiac sonographers.

The BLS suggests that pursuing certification in multiple specialties may enhance job prospects  for ultrasound technicians.

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